“God never uses anyone greatly until He tests them deeply.” – A.W. Tozer
In a season of furious brokenness, I had given up on everything I have ever wanted, dreamed of, or hoped for. Not too long ago, I would have read that quote and shrugged or thought “wow, what a nicely put thought”…today it resonates deep within me. I cannot think of another time where I would have hoped so thoroughly this quote to be true. Because then it would make all of this worth it.
A few days ago I was talking with a friend who has also been walking through some trying situations of her own and when she said, “I’ve been talking to God a lot about it….” I said, “That’s good! I’ve been avoiding him.” There’s nothing glamorous about it…I’ve been wounded so deeply that occasionally, all that I desire to do is curl up in a ball and hide myself from reality…and I’m just being honest here…sometimes the one we’re meant to talk to during these times, is the last one we desire to talk to.
Around the same time as the aforementioned conversation took place, I was talking with my dad in what can only be described as a yell-sob, telling him all about what I thought was wrong with the world…or my world at the moment; leaders who are meant to lead and guide people that suffocate and batter those serving under them…those who take advantage of and abuse you, and those who claim to follow the Lord, while in the same breath gossiping, hurling insults at, and manipulating those they are meant to be serving with. I was simply tired of it all. I was done with this game that so many people play and that is messing with peoples lives.
Maybe the truth is that God can’t use us until we are broken…until we are simply the remnant pieces of whatever we tried to put together ourselves.
Yesterday, I was in the car, heading to a coffee shop to work on some assignments…the moment I pulled into the parking lot, I suddenly had this desire to finally lay down my abundance of burdens and heartache before God…a scary thought. I had been holding these extremely close to me, surrounding my heart brick by brick for months now; afraid to trust, to love, to be vulnerable.
All of a sudden, I realized the most important thing I could do that day was to talk with Jesus…so I pulled back onto the road and started winding through the city until I was no longer anywhere I recognized…it probably took me a good 20 minutes to work up the courage to even say hello to God…not like He just showed up or anything, but like, “Hey…I know you’ve been here for a long time..but I’m finally ready to acknowledge your presence now…” type of thing.
I started like this;
“Ok God…I have no idea what to even say right now…except that I’m hurt, and I’m confused, and I am the most broken person I have ever been before…I’m sorry. I am so sorry for not trusting you with all of this sooner; for thinking I could handle this…” on and on and on.
The tears began to flow around “Ok God” and didn’t stop until I had almost driven all the way home that night.
I have let go; I have had it set so deeply in my mind what I thought I would do with my life, my time, and my resources, and I have experienced the fury of a lost dream. But I am now experiencing what I can only say is the fruitful depths of brokenness. I believe wholeheartedly that God wants to use us, but he can’t until we surrender everything. Every single bit of ourselves. I believe that it is only because he is GOOD that he lets us experience utter heartbreak and the shattering of ourselves so that He can make us into who He desires us to be. The sooner we can learn this, the sooner He can use us for His purpose and glory.
So here’s to the kind of brokenness that makes us whole. The hurts that heal us and the devastations that develop our character. For without them we would be weak and useless to the Kingdom of God.